As a state representative I’m afforded some truly great opportunities. Monday, March 29 was one of those occasions.
I was invited to attend a ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center to dedicate the new outdoor “Tip of the Spear” exhibit as part of the National Vietnam Veterans Day 2021 observance. The exhibit features a Huey helicopter poised atop a representation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – The Wall – in Washington, D.C. The Huey is one of the most recognizable images of the Vietnam War. The Wall is a stark reminder of the more than 58,000 lives lost among U.S. servicemen and women – 988 from Oklahoma – in what was one of the longest wars in our nation’s history.
Later, we recognized several Vietnam veterans on the House floor and adopted a resolution recognizing and honoring the service and sacrifice of all Oklahomans who served in this war. All of this coincided with the nationwide celebration of Vietnam War Veterans Day.
It’s sad to remember the way our young men and women veterans were treated upon returning home from this war just for doing their duty for their country.
Many were treated disrespectfully and inappropriately and oftentimes ridiculed for completing the service expected of them. This was due in large part to the political climate at the time and the unpopularity of the war, but there is never an excuse to dishonor the service and sacrifice of a veteran.
Personally, I would like to say thank you to these veterans for their service and dedication to our nation, and I would like to say welcome home. You have become a crucial part of what makes our nation and our state great.
It also was pointed out during this presentation that more than 3 million Vietnamese relocated to the U.S. during and after the war, affording them the chance to live in freedom and to care for their families and become part of our neighborhoods and communities. To this community, I also say welcome home.
We can’t erase the mistakes of the past, but we can work to mend what is broken, heal what is hurting and restore what was lost.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. You may reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone me at 405-557-7339. May God Bless you and the State of Oklahoma.